There’s no question this story is Russian. Translated by one of the authors, it has the sound and the feel of recent Russian SFF, which gives it a wordy, slightly exotic feel in English. It’s a bit strange that a Russian story revolves around a Pied Piper figure, but it works nonetheless. It’s well written, moves smoothly, and deals nicely with some weighty moral dilemmas – avoiding both superficiality and heavy-handedness.
The main flaw of the story is simply in its length. It would have been more effective as a shorter story, and not lost anything by it. Still, it’s a pleasant sampler of what the Dyachenkos can produce, and worth picking up (free, by the way).